An aircraft’s livery plays a significant role in its aesthetic appeal. It also adds a useful dash of variety to the photography of planespotters such as you and me. Trends in liveries have come and gone over the years, and one trend that we rarely see nowadays is a cheatline. But what exactly does this refer to, and why was it such a prominent template in years gone by?
What is a cheatline?
The term ‘cheatline’ refers to a decorative, colored strip painted horizontally along some or all of an aircraft’s fuselage. As a trend, it emerged as early as the 1920s, and its aim was more than simply to visually please an aircraft’s observers. Indeed, as the name suggests, there is an element of trompe l’oeil to this paint scheme.